QLD dividing fences as a pool barrier

Discussion in 'Property Law Forum' started by budzzy, 21 June 2018.

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  1. budzzy

    budzzy Member

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    We have a join dividing fence as a pool barrier between two properties and we both have swimming pool (next-door neighbour)
    other neighbour at the back has workers demolished an old wall fence (which was within his boundary and was not a dividing fence) which resulted in them collapsing and breaking a section of the boundary fence between my property to next door property. We were home at the time entertaining guests, we witnessed this accident and were concerned that the measures taken to remove other parts of the fence were not done by the workers. this fence was asbestos fence and need removal specialist

    In addition, as we are aware, this collapsed fence is part of our pool fencing and is not up to the safety standard required by law with part of it collapsed. we as a pool owner has duty we have to keep our pool properly contained and compliance to safety regulation and there are currently missing one meter and one broken clapping on the fence. For these reasons, we have contacted an asbestos specialist and has advised us best to remove entire fence due the fence can't not be maintain or repair to the original state and no one repair one missing panel and the broken one, it can't simply remove the broken one and it will be effecting another due the depart of the fence berried under ground and the fence itself overlapping each other and bolted together and it cost us $4000 to just remove entire asbestos fence. for the cost of a new fence itself cost $2500. and to construct a new on an existing dividing boundary fence we need a building certifier/ approval and it cost another $1000

    we have approached the back neighbour as we believe he should be responsible to pay the entire cost of our new fence and offcourse he refused and just want to pay the missing portion that was damaged.

    we have council visits this week and he gave us an enforcement letter to get our fence up in 2 months.

    we had meeting with community legal service and had advised us that the neighbour at the back should pay for the entire cost of the fence. next step is send him a letter with all quotations and if he doesn't agree then we can apply to qcat by lodge an application form.
    what kind of form that we need to fill out for applying this matter, it seems doesn't fit with form fencing dispute as this fence was damaged by third neighbour.
    please help

    thank you
     
  2. Rob Legat - SBPL

    LawTap Verified Lawyer

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    I think the back neighbour is only legally liable for the portion of the fence damaged. You and the adjoining neighbour bear the cost of the balance. If you can’t organise with the back neighbour in time, you and the adjoining neighbour may need to get the whole fence done yourselves, and take action against the back neighbour for the relevant portion. You’ll need to fully document the existing state of the fence for potential evidence down the track.
     
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  3. budzzy

    budzzy Member

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    Thank you Rob Legat,
    my understanding was, we as pool owners have duty of care and make sure its compliance, our adjoin pool fence was compliance before destruction to his construction workers that he constructed using jack hammer/ machinery to demolish his brick wall within his property. yes as pool owner we are liable to make sure it compliance and has to restore any damage to the fence.
    to restore the balance of the fence to make it compliance to safety standard regulation this fence need to be remove by asbestos specialist and install a new fence up.
    so in this case neighbor at the back are only liable for paying the missing portion and one damaged still reminding on the fence. to remove one damaged will be affecting the other and costing us to remove all and install a new one. we have contacted maintenance people, fencing people to hoping that they can put something attach to the fence and so far no one want do the job because involving asbestos. I had pool safety inspector install temporary fence to cover the missing portion with still mesh until a new fence comes up.

    how that possible someone fully responsible to this just liable to pay for the damaged only? he had contracted dodgy workers when he demolished his wall and possibly no liability insurance to cover. now it costing us to get a new fence up to be compliance.

    we are considering to get a solicitor/ lawyer to get an advise but again it is very expensive and now knowing that back neighbor legally liable to pay the damaged portion. we don't want running around wasting time and money. we are really in a deep s**t situation.

    thanks
    budzzy
     
  4. Rob Legat - SBPL

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    Agreed. But looking at it from the other side, your back neighbour isn't responsible for your fencing choices (i.e. the need to remove the rest of the fence). If the balance fence was still suitable, you could possibly repair the damaged portion.
     
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  5. budzzy

    budzzy Member

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    this really sad to know. we have what ever we can to try fix the fence without needing to demolish the rest of the fence, we have contacted fencing companies, hiring a hubby, maintenance people coming in and out hoping they can just touch up the missing panel with different material and so far no one wants to do the job, and one damaged panel still attached, the foundation were gone and there is nothing to attach to asbestos fence. this people don't want risking their health dealing with asbestos so we contacted 3 asbestos specialist to give us ideas, all of them comeback with they can't do the job to just attach one different material to the missing panel and one the broken one need to be remove and they can't remove only the broken one without breaking the others so the job also too risky.

    so when you were saying "If the balance fence was still suitable, you could possibly repair the damaged portion" this is sounds like "Boo Hoo fix it yourself and you can risk your health dealing with asbestos" we are not maintenance or can repair a missing portion of fence yourself that part of dividing fence as pool safety barrier.

    "But looking at it from the other side, your back neighbor isn't responsible for your fencing choices" neither we, if the fence can be repair attach one portion with different material that would be great for us without needing to waste our time, energy, stress and money as we know to get a new fence it cost us $$$$. without the missing portion and the broken panel, we will be happy with the fence for another 5-10 years or until we can afford it.

    he knew all along prior his demolition it was a high risk as it was an old leaning brick wall and he hired dodgy contractor and there were no safety measurement taken into place ended up smashed our fence. we were present when this incident happened and poor the guy that demolish the wall he probably didn't know that was asbestos fence that he smashed and using bare hands removing pieces bits.
    that is why he should't messing around with someone fence

    So because his negligent he is only liable to pay to the damaged and we are the one have to pay the price? to whatever outcomes need to get it done. we are the one that have to deal with this, spent money, time and trying preparing the fence, so far the missing portion only covered up with still mesh (not proper fence) and the broken panel still there.

    What choice we have to get a proper fence. council doesn't care as they gave us enforcement letter wanting us to get our proper fence up withing 2 month.

    suck and hated to think about law and justice
     
  6. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

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    Your option is pay for the whole fence to be done, after getting letters saying a simple repair is not possible, then ask him to pay, and if he doesn't, go to court.

    I'd be taking plenty of photos.
     
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  7. budzzy

    budzzy Member

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    lucky we did taking a lot of photos...of course we didn't take any photo when the incident happened as there were a lot of dusk flying around when the old wall collapsed on our fence. we saw this incident over our kitchen window and we were present entertaining guests as well so plenty of eyes saw this incident.
     
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